Obviously a very different line-up for Eric Wedge today. Why the changes? Well, old friend R.A. Dickey is on the mound. And his knuckleball presents challenges.
“It’s difficult,” Wedge said. “You just try to make him get the ball up and try not to chase. It’s just hard because there is no rhyme or reason to what it’s doing. This guy is even different because he can put a little more on it when he wants to. That makes him the pitcher he is.”
Wedge decided to give Jason Bay and Justin Smoak – both of whom have hit well lately the day off.
“I got Bay and Smoak out of there,” he said. “They’ve been swinging the bats better and I didn’t want them to have to contend with that knuckleball today and just keep them where they are.”
There is no exact science to it. Wedge calculated most things.
“It just depends on the hitter, the type of swing they have – which I take into consideration,” he said.
On the injury front … don’t be expecting Franklin Gutierrez 0r Stephen Pryor to return any time soon. Wedge said that Gutierrez has yet to start baseball activities. He will be re-evaluated when the Mariners get back to Seattle next week. Pryor, who is recovering from a torn lat, is progressing better than Gutierrez.
“Pryor is making good progress, but it’s still going to be a while,” Wedge said.